RDI’s Statement Re: the Events of January 6th by Uriel Epshtein and Daniel Miller 

This morning, millions of Americans awoke to the presumptive victories of Jon Ossoff and the Reverend Raphael Warnock in Georgia. It was another successful exercise in American democracy. We could take particular pride in the fact that the Rev. Dr. Warnock, a pastor who preaches from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s former pulpit, is the first black Senator from Georgia and Ossoff is the first Jewish Senator from a Southern state since the 1880s.

But later today, things changed as thousands of the President’s supporters converged on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. They stormed past police barricades and broke into legislative offices, as well as the Senate chamber. Capitol police evacuated hundreds of people from multiple Congressional buildings after discovering a pipe bomb. Ultimately, Congress had to halt proceedings, and the Capitol building was looted. 

This is still a developing story as night falls on Washington, D.C. But our worst fears have come true. 

Today, for the first time since 1860, a peaceful transition of power is being threatened by a dual coup d’état: first, with a majority of Congressional Republicans expected to object to the certification of Joe Biden’s election, and second, with supporters of Donald Trump taking the US Capitol by storm.

Make no mistake: The President of the United States is responsible for much of what happened today. He propagated conspiracy theories about electoral fraud in order to delegitimize, if not overturn, the results of the election. And then this morning, during a rally in Washington, D.C., he urged his supporters to keep fighting the election results at the Capitol.

Our democracy is facing its greatest test since the Civil War. 

On a personal note, even though we come from very different backgrounds, we both grew up believing in America as an exceptional nationa nation that wouldn’t hide its flaws, but would address them head-on.

Today, like many of you, our faith in the American experiment has been challenged but nevertheless remains firm. We fully expect certification to continue and for Joe Biden to be inaugurated on January 20th, in accordance with our Constitution. But we have to acknowledge the rot in our democracy and endeavor to address it. The work of RDI has never been more important! 

There are no easy solutions to our country’s problems, but we will not stop fighting. This is our nation, you are all our fellow Americans, and we will find a way to move forward together. We must hold those who provoked violence accountable and repair our democracy.

Stay safe and keep the faith, 

Uriel Epshtein – Executive Director

Daniel Miller – Director of Content & Strategy

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